Richard Alloway is our kind of state senator -- he takes grief from both sides.

The Republican seeking re-election in the 33rd District says he's criticized by his own party for not being conservative enough, and the Democrats take shots at him for being too far right.

Sounds like he's doing something right.

We want elected officials who stand by their convictions and do what they think is right for their constituents -- not simply rubberstamp their party leadership's agenda.

In an interview with The York Dispatch editorial board, Alloway said he's frustrated his party hasn't addressed any of the suggestions a commission made to deal with Pennsylvania's crumbling transportation infrastructure.

Gov. Tom Corbett solicited the advice, which included increasing driver's license and vehicle registration fees to raise nearly $600 million for transportation projects, but no action has been taken for 15 months.

Why?

The governor's "no-tax" pledge, Alloway acknowledged.

The Franklin County lawmaker was an original supporter of a natural gas severance tax, similar to those levied in every other large gas-producing state. That would have raised much more money for the state's coffers than the impact fees the Legislature eventually approved.

Again, Corbett's rigid tax stance stood in the way, Alloway said.


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We certainly don't agree with the senator on every issue. But we wish we had more like him -- lawmakers willing to do what they think is best for their constituents in spite of their party's wishes.

It's too bad he doesn't represent more of York County.

Currently the 33rd includes all of Franklin and Adams counties, but just Dover, Dover Township, Paradise Township, and Heidelberg Township in York County. Under a revised redistricting plan now under state Supreme Court review, the district would shift farther west, covering just the far western section of York County.

Alloway has long said the district doesn't make sense, and York County isn't getting the representation it deserves from the 33rd. And he's advocated moving the district completely out of York County to give residents there a greater voice.

In the meantime, though, Alloway has pledged to give our concerns the same consideration he does for Adams and Franklin County residents.

The 13th Senate District is another that spans county lines -- and in its case the Susquehanna River.

Republican Sen. Lloyd Smucker is seeking another term in the district, which stretches from the city of Lancaster to Springettsbury Township. Under the proposed redistricting plan, it would move completely into Lancaster County.

In addition to spending much of his time in Lancaster, Smucker, like Alloway, is a relative newcomer to the Legislature, replacing 23-year incumbent Gib Armstrong in 2010.

We can't say we know much about him, and we don't see much of him.

But Smucker's priorities do seem to line up with those of us west of the river -- property tax reform, education and job creation.

It would be nice, however, if he would cross the bridge a little more often.